Tis No Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver
To playwrights in Philip Henslowe's diary
Fol. 52 (Greg, I.99)
Lente vnto harey Chettell at the Requeste of } Robart shawe the 25 of novembʒ in earneste of } xs his comodey called tys no deseayt to deseue the } desever . . . for mendinge of Roben hood for the corte . . . , , } lent vnto the company the 28 of novembʒ 1598 } to geue harey cheattell in earneste of hes boocke } xxs called tis no desayt to deseaue the deseuer the some }
- Chettle's play, "'Tis No Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver," was apparently meant to be acquired and staged by the Admiral's men at the Rose in 1598, but the absence of payments in full raise a question about whether the play was completed.
- Comedy? Harbage
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
- The proverbial title suggests a double tricking, but no particular anecdote or narrative is also implied.
References to the Play
- None known.
Malone makes no comment about "'Tis No Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver" (p. 311); Collier muses that "Chettle seems to have had no co-partner," implying that he was more commonly part of a team than a solo dramatist (p. 140, n.1). Fleay, BCED makes no comment on the play (1.#17, p. 68); Greg II suggests that the play "may never have been finished" (#160, p. 199).
Gurr pushes the possibility of an abandoned project a step farther by listing "'Tis No Deceit to Deceive the Deceiver" among plays "initially paid for but probably abandoned later" (p. 105).
Wiggins, Catalogue does not call attention to the partial payments; he characterizes the story as "some fraudster getting a taste of his own crooked medicine" (#1166).
For What It's Worth